09 maja 2011


Sometimes I chat with my students a little in Polish. I enjoy it and (I think) so do they. Seeing me struggle to string together grammatical sentences is a great equalizer! Sometimes my students share a small joke or riddle with me and I really enjoy trying to retell them to others and try for laughs. My absolutely toughest critic is my wife. I need some really clever jokes and riddles for her. Share them here!

I absolutely cannot take credit for this one, but one of my students related a short riddle this week that I love. Whoever correctly solves the riddle first will be crowned riddle champion for the week. Sorry, native Polish speakers are prohibited from posting the solution prematurely (give us beginners a chance), although your help in adjudicating the answers might be necessary!

Here it is:

Dziobał szpak bociana.
Potem była zmiana - bociana dziobał szpak.
Potem były jeszcze trzy takie zmiany.
Ile razy szpak był dziobany?

Hint: If you're lost with the vocabulary like I was, check the 'Sunday słownictwo' from earlier today for a little help. 

Enter your answer in the comments below and be crowned riddle champion. Do you have better riddles, word puzzles, or jokes for me? Proszę skomentować!

12 komentarzy:

  1. Being a native speaker I wouldn't dare to post an answer here :) Anyway, have you ever tried to talk your students into preparing a Polish language lesson, with them speaking and explaining everything (trying to?) in English for you? I don't know if it's a bigger crowd you're teaching or private lessons, but for me, during my English course with a native speaker it was an English-challenge thing, not to mention entertainment and fun we both had ;)

  2. I cheated and consulted the girlfriend after guessing incorrectly. The language is enough of a riddle that adding riddles on top of that just kind of makes my head explode.

  3. Chris - I teach private lessons. It's a good idea - I had never thought of it. Any of my students who read this can consider themselves warned!

    Darrell - I just love this example because as an English speaker the riddle makes no sense whatsoever unless you understand how the cases work. Simple but clever. I keep saying that I think the case system is clever, but I think what I really mean is that it makes me feel very clever when I understand it for a few moments . . .

  4. My answer - nie był dziobany
    @Chris - That's quite a good idea and I'm definitely going to put it into practice at somepoint this week.

  5. TEFL Secretagent wins the riddler prize! Very good. Riddle champ of the week, or until there is a new word puzzle, you shall remain the champ. Congrats . . .

    Anyone else have a Polish word puzzle to share?

  6. Great meeting you on Saturday Kolin. Keep posting the riddles - good stuff!

    Now, how do I memorise this to impress?

  7. How about that:

    Nie je, nie pije,
    a chodzi i bije.
    Co to jest?

  8. @Anon:

    Dzięki! Sorry it's been so long since I've replied your comments.

    I think I know the answer. Well, my wife helped me. Anyone want to make a guess?


  9. Zegar.

    Dzięki, Anonimowy za zagadka. Był trudny. W końcu, zapytałem moją zoną!

  10. No problem. Nie ma sprawy.

    BTW zagadka is female in Polish. So it's "Dzięki za zagadkę. Była trudna." Anyway - if zagadka was male (so it would be "ten zagadek" :) ), your declinations would be correct - congratulations.

    BTW2 "W końcu zapytałem moją zoną" - should be "W końcu zapytałem moją żonę" - żoną is narzędnik - (kim/czym? - żoną) so it applies when you are doing sth using your wife like a tool (narzędzie) :)

    There it should be kogo/co? - żonę - which is biernik - applies to things that are passive - like you are doing something to your wife and she is passive object of your action.

    Anyway - good luck with your Polish.

  11. BTW3 almost all female things in Polish ends with "a". Applies to names, animals, things, etc. May be useful.

    Now I can only think of 1 exception - "mysz".

  12. ajuc - makes perfect sense! This is a good example of something I get correct when I take the time to think about it, but that I almost always get wrong when I'm in a hurry! Cheers for correcting my mistakes. If only I blogged more often my Polish would improve more quickly!!



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